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Re: WANTED: Design for documentation (Photoshop power users!)

From: Robin Bannister
Subject: Re: WANTED: Design for documentation (Photoshop power users!)
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2008 15:18:33 +0200

Me answering Rheinhold:
> The pale yellow/light brown would make the navbars almost invisible on TFT > screens, so I think the current state is much better. ... So what/where is the current state?

Sorry, I got mixed up; I thought this meant the navbars would disappear. But now I think it means they would still be legible (and could be used) but the cohesion provided by their background would be lost.

Patrick McCarty wrote:
In the case where the vertical scrollbar is visible for the TOC pane, using a white background would be fine. But for a page like [1], the TOC pane would no longer appear to be a pane, and I would argue for using color to indicate its separation (as it currently is). [1]

Yes, I wasn't proposing white; that was just an intermediate stage in the argument. But this is a good answer for Patrick H. Well, fairly good. If the backgound difference can become "almost invisible" then the separation will surely be lost in this case too. But I suppose secondary clues (like placement) help out a bit.

I wanted to see what "almost invisible" meant and tried this out (with IE6) on some flat screens. Navbars very visible on a BenQ monitor and an Inspiron laptop, both 2006. I could see the effect an a low-end 1998 laptop, but was a lot more bothered by other presentation problems, like text size versus screen size. Things were squeezed together too much; colour wouldn't have unjumbled it.

The navbars have their own secondary clues (like brackety buttons and the grouped layout) so you would hardly mistake them for normal text. But a backgound is helpful for recognition, e.g. when a scrolling moves a navbar back into view. So: navbars same hue as TOC, but (only) slightly denser. Me, toeing my line. :)


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